The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, May 8, 2022 comes to us from Gloria Amparo Valencia Riascos of Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:15-17 NIV
“A Steady Path”
My life has been full of strong role models. My mother was head of the household and the single parent of six children. She worked from morning till night to support us. My Grandmother Bertha left us a great legacy, teaching us by example to be hardworking and strong, instilling in us the assurance that God is always with us. In the afternoons, my grandmother would permit us to visit Doña Esther, a woman from the neighborhood who enjoyed looking after children. She always prepared something delicious to eat. While we ate, she read aloud stories and parables from the Bible.
These stories left a deep impression in my young heart and mind, and my life began to change. Despite financial constraints, my constant hope and prayer was to continue my studies. I asked God to help me reach my goal of becoming a teacher. I persevered, and my goal became a reality. My corner-stone of faith was laid by the strong people in my life who followed the teaching to “start children of on the way they should go …” Because of their guidance, I remain on a steady path that leads to God.
I pray that each of you has had strong role models in life. There are several in my history, but just now, I think about the Reverend Dr. Martha Scott, whom I met because she was teaching my first in-person class at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Marti taught me much of what I know about ministry, calling me to ministries of justice, especially in urban settings. Although she is actually a little younger than I am, she offered wisdom from her experiences in ministry, and I will always be grateful for her presence on my journey. On this Mothers’ Day, I invite you to consider those people who have offered you strong role-models, and lift a prayer of thanksgiving for their gift to you. What did you learn from them? Are you still in touch with them? Can you thank them in person?
Dear God, thank you for people of faith who mentor children and provide opportunities for them to know you. Amen.
--Gloria Amparo Valencia Riascos
Thought for the Day:
How can I encourage someone to seek the path that leads to God?
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)